So much of our world seems dead to me.
As I type, I look outside my kitchen window and see dead leaves, lifeless on dying grass. I read news reports that constantly point me to how dark the world can be. Even the idea of community seems like it's being threatened and invited to death in argument and dissension - now featuring 140 more characters with which to do so.
But this weekend, our church is celebrating baptism, and I boldly proclaim LIFE.
Life that is possible in the midst of what's dying because of what Jesus did first. He subjected Himself to be submerged in the water's darkness, foretelling of His gruesome death on a Cross. But then he rose again, defeating the darkness, triumphantly shattering the surface of what seems so daunting, securing life that can never be taken away.
More than any other time I've witnessed a baptism, today I choose to celebrate. And in celebrating, I share the words of a piece I was invited to write and perform at one of our regional campuses, Willow South Lake. This piece was stretching and transforming, as it's not something I normally "do."
But sometimes our greatest glimpses of God's power and love for us come in the container of what we don't do.
May these words be a reminder to you that life has been secured. That whatever feels like death to you cannot actually defeat you because of what Christ has done. May your faith be refreshed today. May your soul be renewed in the truth of His death, burial, and resurrection. Choose life.
On the third day,
You Created water.
It was good.
Earth was bursting with the birth of life,
Living things - their beauty and bodies running freely to the beat of your heartbeat but one was missing.
He was good.
You gave him reign over the living streams, but you deemed it
was not good for him to be alone.
And so from his rib you flowed and formed a life in the form of her.
She was good.
But the voice of evil slivered in, it could not resist to ask just this: "Did God really say?"
Man and woman ate - and thus began to separate themselves away from the source – life stained with remorse.
But as tides of human sin and brokenness began to rise,
You were good.
Stream became sea, sea was parted and he
Whom you tasked to lead led your people to hope
Water saved them that day.
Peter walked to Your Son,
Life buoyed up under him
Streams of water did form a
From water to wine, Jesus changed the times
And as servants complied
Life rang aloud from their cries.
And when it came to me? With such grace you did speak:
"Surrender all – your sin aside, for I AM living water, see?
You can come to me to fulfill every need, on bended knee come curse or thirst
You can be free of the sin that so easily entwines
Because I. Went. First.
I came down for the killers, the liars, the deceivers - the banged up and broken, the adulterer and unbeliever.
I commanded the waves and wind to a hush.
And in John the Baptist's hands, I felt the swift rush
Of stream and tide - all the sin and the pride - that, my child, you tried to hide.
That first death I died.
Before the cross, I was baptized.
So that you, once dead,
All the muck and the dread,
Could burst with the promise of life once again.”
And, finally, washed clean, in the cool of the stream, angels could sing - over you
Now freed - from your sin-filled disease:
In you He is well pleased.
See, the Living Water is perfect Love
Rushing over us with His blood, cleansing every inch because